Zapato Power by Jacqueline Jules (illustrated by Miguel Benitez, Albert Whitman) is the winner of the 2010 Cybils Easy Reader and Early Chapter Book category. Cybils – Children and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards – have been awarded annually since 2006. Winners are announced on Valentine’s Day.
Librarian-blogger Julie Jurgen writes of Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off:
Author Jules and illustrator Benitez have given us a completely fresh character in Freddie Ramos, a Latino grade-schooler whose father was killed in the line of duty and whose mother only recently graduated from community college, allowing her to get a better job and move her son out of their old, “bad” neighborhood and into a better one. One day Freddie receives a mysterious package containing a pair of purple sneakers with silver wings that give him super speed, and he immediately begins dreaming of using his “zapato power” to make his world an even better place. Even without his amazing shoes, Freddie’s kind heart and willingness to help would make him a hero, and I think that many readers--myself included--will be rooting for him for many years to come. --Julie Jurgen
The award announcement says, "Zapato Power fills a large void in the early chapter book category. Freddie Ramos is a Hispanic character growing up in a single-parent family. He lives in an apartment building where his community acts as his extended family. Students reading Zapato Power find a character they can relate to. Plus he's got super-powered shoes that let him run really really fast. What's not to love?"
Trailer for Zapato Power